Whitehaven head coach Jonty Gorley says there is no pressure on his side for this weekend’s Challenge Cup clash against St Helens.
The current cup holders begin their title defence with a trip to Cumbria to face Whitehaven in the sixth round of the competition.
20 places separate the two sides. St Helens sitting at the top of the Super League table and Whitehaven in 10th position in the Championship.
Gorley was appointed as the club’s new head coach ahead of the 2022 campaign. And he says he wants his players to enjoy the experience of the fairytale draw.
Jonty Gorley on Challenge Cup opportunity
Gorley said: “The roof nearly came off the changing rooms when we saw the draw. Everybody was buzzing about facing the best team.
“It was a dream come true really. A fairytale draw for the club and everybody involved. It’s been great.
“You can’t beat being the underdog. Nobody is expecting anything from us this weekend. Whatever happens, whether it’s a cricket score, or if we run them close or if the rugby gods are with us and you get the win; if anything happens, we’ve got nothing to lose.
“I want them to enjoy the experience and take it on board and not let it go without being a part of it. Personally, I want them to leave their mark on the game. I want them to express themselves and enjoy the occasion.
“It’s a massive opportunity for the lads to say they’ve played against the best in the world.
“It’s rugby league and anything can happen. If our 17 players have the best game they’ve ever had and St Helens are a bit off, who knows what will happen.
“All I can ask of my players is to give me 100% of commitment and attitude on Saturday and I’ll be happy and whatever comes on the back of that I’ll be happy with.”